Wimbledon 2013

Should I join the queue, or should I not?

Perhaps it is a sign of getting old: I had briefly contemplated about queuing up for Wimbledon tomorrow, on Saturday, but decided against it. As I live nearby, joining the queue only involves walking a few minutes, so it is basically a matter of willingness and interest, rather than any logistical problems or issues such as transport. This Saturday would be a really good day to obtain a ground pass, because there are so many third-round matches being played on outer courts, after rain delayed the proceedings on Thursday evening and on Friday, and it would be possible to watch matches involving seeded and high-ranked players who would normally play on the show courts. The reasons I have decided against going are: 1) I have not been feeling well enough to queue up; 2) I know that it is extremely busy on the Saturday of the tournament; and 3) I also have a few things that I need to do, so I do not think I can be away for the whole day, which going to Wimbledon would mean. Perhaps that there is absolutely no chance of even watching a set of Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal playing is another reason, even if the prospect of watching Novak Djokovic play is really tempting. It is not unrealistic, given his match is scheduled to take place on Centre after two matches.

If I had decided to go, then my plan would have involved setting the alarm at around 4 AM to join the queue. I would decide on a particular court to watch a few matches, and then stay there as long as my bladder can manage, before joining the ticket resales queue for a chance to get to Centre or No 1 Court. As the matches on outer courts start at 11:30 AM, but the those on Centre and No 1 Court start at 1 o’clock, and depending on the length of matches, this plan usually involves watching two matches on the outer court, and joining the queue for ticket resales for a couple of hours to catch a set or two of the last game on Centre or No 1 Court. The most crucial part of this plan is to get to the court as quickly as possible to grab one of the limited number of seats: so if you’re going to employ this tactic, make sure to study the map and head to the court as soon as you are allowed beyond the area near the gate.

There are naturally other ways to enjoy Wimbledon. It is nice to soak up the atmosphere by watching a match or a set on one court, then move to another court. The junior competitions also begin, so it might be a good place to spot the future stars. And there is always the hill, in front of the big screen on No 1 Court, where you can enjoy a picnic and consume vast quantities of Pimm’s and strawberries and cream.

For information, the best resource is the official site found at www.wimbledon.com. If you’re planning to queue but not familiar with the etiquette, it is worth studying the page on The Queue. It explains how the queuing for Wimbledon works, and as queuing is almost the national sport or obsession in Britain, do take heed.